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Sino US talks end on a positive note boosting European stocks

European gauges are trading higher this morning boosted by positive signals from the Sino-US talks which concluded in Beijing late Tuesday. The negotiators have not released any concrete results of their discussions yet but President Trump tweeted that “talks with China are going very well”, giving rise to expectations that the two sides have found a resolution to some of their most contentious issues. Apart from tariffs these also include intellectual property rights protection and protection of the rights of US companies trading in China. Asian markets reacted with a bounce after the talks, rising to a three week high.

Sainsbury sales drop

A day after Asda and Wm Morrison reported their sales figures Sainsbury also followed suit but unlike the other two supermarkets the numbers showed a worse than expected decline in Christmas sales. While the group’s grocery sales were solid, demand for general merchandise tailed off. Though investors are still fairly sceptical about Sainsbury, particularly given that the company is in the process of clearing hurdles to buy rival Asda, the decline in the share price this morning of 1.5% has been significantly lower than what Morrison experienced yesterday even after reporting sales marginally ahead of expectations.

Airlines recover as Heathrow reopens

Drone activity seems to be the new way of blocking British airports and after Gatwick fell foul to these tactics before Christmas, Heathrow became the next target yesterday. However this time around the airport closure was much shorter than at Gatwick and flights resumed after a relatively short period of time. Shares in EasyJet and British Airways parent company International Consolidated Airlines are trading in positive territory this morning, seemingly unaffected by the drone threat.

Oil heading for $60 mark

Brent crude prices are continuing to gain ground this week with the London contract heading for the $60 mark this morning. Though traders are explaining this away with the fact that Saudi Arabia and Russia have agreed to reduce production this quarter an element of the rise has to do with new position taking at the start of the year and bargain hunting after the oil price flirted with the $50 level in late December.

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